Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
It was late Sunday evening, February 23, 2014, when Nashat Bibawi was awakened by a pounding on the door of the apartment he shared with his father and two brothers-in-law, in Benghazi, Libya. When his father, Talaat Sedeek Bibawi, opened the door, three men dressed in military-style fatigues and carrying automatic weapons burst into the room.
In Libya, armed gangs and lawlessness have become increasingly common in the two years since the removal of Muammar Gaddafi. The interim government has not been able to implement a stable political solution, nor have they been able to control the Islamic militant groups that have been active throughout the country.
Monday, March 3rd, 2014
An Egyptian shopkeeper working in Libya was shot on Sunday morning after being identified as a Christian. The status of the man is still unclear after he was taken to the hospital. This is the second significant event in the past week targeting Egyptian Christians in Libya. While the country is facing an ongoing battle with extremists groups, Christians are being singled out on the basis of their religious identity.
Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
The brutal killing of seven Egyptian Christians working in Libya has brought the violent instability and the extremist targeting of Christians present in Libya back into the headlines. There are now reports emerging that a “bounty” was spray-painted onto buildings in the area offering a reward for those who turn Christians over to the militants. The killings have sparked more discussion about what is necessary to support the Libyan government in its battle against extremists.
Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
International Christian Concern (ICC) is deeply troubled by the brutal killing of seven Egyptian Christians who were working in Benghazi, Libya. The bodies of the seven men were discovered by Libyan authorities Monday morning on a beach in a suburb east of Benghazi. The men were found with their hands bound and appeared to have been executed, security officials reported.
Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
The bodies of seven Egyptian Christians were found outside the city of Benghazi in eastern Libya. The men appeared to have been killed in an execution style. They were seen being taken from their homes on Sunday night. The motive for the killings is not clear. There are Islamic extremist groups known to be active in the area and have been implicated in similar killings in recent months. Egyptian Christians in Libya have been targeted in the past because of their religious activities, it is not clear if that is the motive in this situation.
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
Christians face a rising level of religious freedom around the world, and especially in the Middle East. Two recent studies from respected research organizations, Pew Forum and Open Doors, have highlighted the massive scale of the issue. Many are pushing for the United States to make the protection of religious minorities a core part of foreign policy, which the administration says that it already is. The problem has been in the failure to back the rhetoric with action. While there are political issues involved, it is imperative that the positions that exist to protect religious minorities be quickly filled if the United States is to have any credibility behind its claims to be a defender of religious freedom.
Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
As the country of Libya is still trying to find some source of stability after the removal of dictator Muammar Qaddafi, the announcement that the legal system will be based on Islamic law is worrisome for the country’s small Christian community. There are some 300,000 Coptic Christians, as well as smaller pockets of other denominations. Already Christians have been under pressure from Islamic militant groups and seeing the laws of the state also being written in a way to justify religious persecution could lead to even greater persecution.
Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
Although Libya's indigenous Christians were assimilated or annihilated during previous waves of Islamic expansion, the Church has been continually present since Roman times. Libya has almost 100,000 Christians, but they have been in great danger since the Western-assisited Islamists overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Now, their situation in Libya is described as "precarious."
Sunday, October 20th, 2013
After the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Christians are being targeted for violent crimes, while Libya’s struggle for a political identity is being exploited by extremists attempting to wrest control over the country’s oil fields.
Friday, October 4th, 2013
Recent reports indicate that a majority of the rebels ravaging Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) are composed of foreign Islamists. These Muslim fighters reportedly are working at the behest of the current president of the CAR, Michel Am-Nondokro Djotodia. Former president François Bozizé, was deposed in March by this rebel coalition, known as Seleka, which installed president Djotodia. Djotodia is the first Muslim leader of the majority Christian nation. During the rebellion, allegations surfaced that many of the rebel fighters were in fact Sudanese and Chadian Islamist militants. These new reports tend to confirm those allegations, and have given greater weight to concerns that the militants receive some measure of funding and guidance from the same sources that funded Malian, Tunisian, and Libyan revolts, namely: Al Qaeda.
Saturday, June 1st, 2013
It is now painfully clear that the widely acclaimed Arab Spring, which hoped to instill democratic change and greater freedoms throughout the Arab world, has given rebirth to a radical agenda that seeks to Islamize the Middle East. In Egypt, more than 80 Christians have been killed and several churches have been destroyed since the country’s uprising. In Syria, Christians have fled Islamist rebel-controlled cities in the thousands in fear for their lives. The Arab Spring—at one time a commendable, idealistic dream—has now plummeted toward a grave reality: the only freedoms gained were those of Islamists that demand complete submission from Christians.
Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
The Arab Spring—at one time a commendable, idealistic dream—has now plummeted toward a grave reality: the only freedoms gained were those of Islamists that demand complete submission from Christians and other religious minorities. From Syria to Egypt, Christians are under attack and fleeing their homelands in unprecedented numbers, raising concerns that the very existence of Christianity in the Middle East is at stake.
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
Friday, April 19th, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that seven expatriate Christians who were abducted in February by an Islamic militia group in Libya have been released and are now safe in their respective countries. The last Christian from the group landed in Cairo International Airport on Tuesday night.
Friday, March 29th, 2013
The recent death of an Egyptian Evangelical Christian under dubious circumstances, along with increasing arrests and detention of Christians, confirms the rising threat of Islamist extremism and Christian persecution in Libya.
Thursday, March 28th, 2013
Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
Sunday, March 24th, 2013
What is happening in Libya? Four Christian foreigners, including a South African, South Korean, Egyptian, and a Swede with a US passport, were arrested in Benghazi on February 10. Three days later, two more Christians from Egypt were arrested, one of whom, identified as Sherif Ramses, was reportedly tortured. Yet, that was only the tip of the iceberg. On February 27, at least 48 Christians from Egypt were arrested, one of whom died while in custody from possible torture. On top of that, a Coptic Church in Benghazi was attacked and two priests were assaulted by militants in early March. The country’s sudden persecution of Christians has led some to question whether the ‘new’ Libya has truly been liberated from the former tyranny of Muammar Gaddafi’s oppressive regime, or if one tyranny has simply been replaced by another, this time led by radical Islamists.
Friday, March 22nd, 2013
Four more Egyptian Christians were arrested in Libya last Friday, less than a month after the arrests of more than 50 Egyptian Christians in late February for allegedly proselytizing and distributing Christian literature. One of the Christians died while in prison. Though government officials say the Christian’s death was a result of natural causes, the Egyptian Christian community claims he was murdered after being tortured by militiamen. Though most of the Christians have since been released, an Egyptian, a South African, a South Korean and a Swede with a US passport who were arrested in mid-February remain in prison, along with the four Egyptian Christians that were arrested last week.
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
“In a troubling development, Egyptian Copts in Libya say one of their number has been killed by a militia while detained along with dozens of other Copts. Copts accuse Libyan militias, with the tacit approval of the government, of harassing, arresting, torturing, and now killing Christians,” Catholic Online reports. At least eight Christians remain behind bars in Libya, including an Egyptian, a South African, a South Korean and a Swede with a US passport who were arrested in mid-February, and four Egyptians that were arrested last week.
Monday, March 18th, 2013
Libya suspended work at its embassy in Cairo on Saturday following protests over the death of an Egyptian Christian in a Libyan prison last week. Though government officials say the Christian died of natural causes, the Egyptian Christian community claims he was murdered as a result of being tortured during his detainment. The Christian and more than 50 others were arrested in February for allegedly distributing Christian materials and proselytizing. According to the Maspero Youth Union (MYU), there were four more Egyptian Christians arrested in Libya on Friday.
Friday, March 15th, 2013
Militants torched a church used by Egyptian Christians in Benghazi, Libya on Thursday, a week after scores of Egyptian Christians were detained for alleged proselytization, the Associated Press reports. Although most of the Christians have since been released, at least four—including a Swedish-American, a South Korean, a South African and an Egyptian—remain behind bars.
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
The funeral of Ezzat Atallah, a Coptic Christian, was held Wednesday following his death in a Libyan prison, the Associated Press reports. While the Egyptian Foreign Ministry claimed that Atallah died from poor health due to diabetes and heart ailments, protestors suspect that poor prison conditions and possible torture contributed to his death. Atallah was one of more than 50 Christians arrested in February for allegedly distributing Christian materials and proselytizing. At least four foreign Christians, including a Swedish-American, a South Korean, a South African and an Egyptian remain in prison.
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
With the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, anti-Christian violence is quickly rising under the influence of Islamist extremism, thus raising concerns about the future of religious freedom in the country.
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
Yesterday, ICC posted a news article concerning the death of Ezzat Atallah, one of the more than 50 Egyptian Christians arrested in Libya last month, who died in prison reportedly due to health problems. Naguib Guebrayel, a Coptic Christian lawyer, said that Atallah death was not because of his poor health, but a result of "being tortured with other detainees", RT.com reports. Atallah was one of five Evangelical Christians arrested for allegedly proselytizing and distributing Christian literature. Although most of the Christians have since been released, an Egyptian, a South African, a South Korean and a Swede with a US passport who were arrested in mid-February remain in prison, according to reports.
Monday, March 11th, 2013
Ezzat Atallah, one of the more than 50 Egyptian Christians that were arrested in Libya last month, died while in prison likely due to health problems, the Associated Press reports. The Christians were detained for allegedly proselytizing and distributing Christian literature. Thirty-five of the Christians were deported back to Egypt last week for illegally entering the country, while 20 were cleared to stay in Libya. ICC has yet to confirm the reasons for Atallah’s death, but there is concern that it may have been a result of harsh treatment while in prison, as many of the Christians were reportedly tortured by Libyan officials. Atallah was one of five Evangelical Christians arrested in the crackdown.